Clemens v. Morales
ORDERED that the petitioner is to update the Court on his current location, his Illinois criminal proceedings (if any), his Georgia parole proceedings (if any) and his arguments in opposition to respondent's motion to dismiss (if any). ( Compliance due by 5/24/2017.) Signed by Judge G.R. Smith on 5/10/2017. (wwp) Modified on 5/10/2017 (wwp).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
JOSE MORALES, Warden,
Petitioner James Clemens is incarcerated by the State of Georgia at
Coastal State Prison.' Invoking 28 U.S.C. § 2254, he filed his petition in
the Northern District of Georgia, seeking dismissal of a detainer lodged
against him by Illinois authorities and, apparently, release from custody.
Doc. 1. But for the detainer, he claims, he would have been released
from custody at the end of March 2017. Doc. 15. He contends that
Warden Jose Morales is preventing him from invoking the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers Act (IADA) 2 to challenge the Illinois detainer.
At least he was in mid-April, 2017.
The Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (IADA), 18 U.S.C. App. pp. 585-620
(1985), is a congressionally sanctioned interstate compact which establishes a
procedure for a prisoner incarcerated in one state to demand the speedy disposition of
"any untried indictment, information, or complaint" that is the basis of a detainer
lodged against him by another state. If the prisoner makes such demand, the IADA
Respondent objects that Clemens has not complied with the
procedural requirements of the JADA, see O.C.G.A. §42-6-20, Art. III (a),
(b) (adopting and codifying the JADA), and that he has failed to fully
exhaust his state habeas remedies before coming to federal court. Doc.
20 at 2-3; see Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484,
489 (1973) (noting that petitioner had properly "exhausted all available
state remedies as a prelude to this action.").
Respondent also contends that no detainer has actually been issued
by authorities in Illinois. Docs. 20 at 2; 20-1 at 3; 24 at 3 (citing Remeta
v. Singletary, 85 F.3d 513, 517 n. 4 (11th Cir. 1996) (defining "detainer"
as "a request filed by a criminal justice agency with the institution in
which a prisoner is incarcerated, asking the institution either to hold the
prisoner for the agency or to notify the agency when release of the
prisoner is imminent.")). A mere warrant of arrest from another state,
with no accompanying request for his present custodian to hold the
prisoner or give advance notice of his pending release, does not qualify as
requires the authorities in the prosecuting state to bring the person to trial within
180 days, or that court must dismiss the indictment, information, or complaint, and
the detainer will cease to be of any force or effect. The IADA requires a prisoner to
"cause to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the
prosecuting officer's jurisdiction written notice of the place of his imprisonment and
his request for a final disposition to be made of the indictment." IADA, art. 111(a).
a detainer. Respondent argues that Georgia Corrections officials have
treated the "warrant of arrest" from Illinois as a "detainer" in their
paperwork by name only; prior to this Court's involvement, petitioner's
parole proceedings had actually continued as they normally would in the
absence of any detainer wrinkle.
See doc. 23 at 3 (Illinois "warrant of
arrest"); id. at 1-2 (March 3, 2017 Georgia Department of Corrections
"acknowledgement of "detainer request"); Id. at 4 (March 13, 2017
parole board "conditional reprieve" order making no reference to any
hold or other requirement preventing release on parole). It further
appears that the Department of Corrections did not actually receive a
copy of the "detainer" until March of this year (see id. at 1-2) -- months
after Clemens filed his petition seeking habeas relief. See doc. 1 (petition
filed November 21, 2016). If this is true, petitioner didn't have an JADA
request to make when he first sought to invoke this Court's habeas
The respondent further points out that since filing this action
petitioner has agreed to "waive extradition" on April 6, 2017 -- seemingly
mooting the entire controversy.
See doc. 25-1. Specifically, Clemens
agreed to "voluntarily and of [his] own free will . . . waive rights to
extradition.. . and consent to return to the State of Illinois. . . to answer
to the charge of continuing financial crimes, aggravated identity theft (4
counts) and forger[y] (4 counts)."
Thus, he seems to have
accomplished just what he wanted -- getting his Illinois charges
addressed during the pendency of his Georgia sentence. It is unclear
whether he even remains in Georgia custody' or has been transferred to
Illinois for disposition of the charges against him, or even if he has been
released from custody altogether.
Clemens has not responded to the respondent's contentions that
there was never any detainer to trigger the JADA or that, in any event,
he failed to comply with its provisions and failed to exhaust his available
state habeas remedies. It further appears that -- even assuming he has
responses overcoming all of those defects -- the entire controversy has
been mooted by his waiver of extradition. See 18 U.S.C. App. pp. 585-620
(IADA). Before ruling on this matter, however, the Court will afford
Clemens an opportunity to respond, either admitting these defects,
withdrawing his petition, or combatting respondent's arguments.
The Court is unable to locate Clemens on the Georgia Department of Corrections
inmate locator. See http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/GDC/Offender/Query.
Therefore, within 14 days of service of this Order, petitioner is
ORDERED to update the Court on his current location, his Illinois
criminal proceedings (if any), his Georgia parole proceedings (if any), and
his arguments in opposition to respondent's motion to dismiss (if any).
SO ORDERED, this 10th day of May, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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